STAMFORD — The King School football team gave the homecoming crowd exactly what it wanted Saturday as the Vikings displayed enough grit, character and resourcefulness to post a 22-14 victory over Fieldston School.
“Homecoming on our football field. That’s an important day,” King senior quarterback Renn Lints said. “Every week is a challenge, and we all have goals to attain for this season. We’re all just trying to do our part.”
It took contributions from many precincts for King (2-0) to vanquish a stubborn Fieldston squad from the Bronx, N.Y.
King’s defense was perhaps the No. 1 star. The Vikings limited Fieldston (2-1) to 47 yards rushing on 19 carries.
The Eagles were a bit more successful through the air. Junior quarterback Jesse Cooper-Leary completed 7 of 21 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions.
“Our defense took a big step forward week to week,” King coach Dan Gouin said. “My hat’s off to Fieldston. Their team is so much improved from last year (a 36-0 King road win). It was a good tough game.”
Points came in opportunistic ways for the King offense Saturday.
An interception and 40-yard return by senior quad-captain Bobby Cribbin gave King a short field at the Fieldston 22. Three runs, capped by Kelly Gouin’s 9-yard TD burst, gave King a 6-0 edge with 8:087 left in the second quarter.
Fieldston grabbed a 7-6 lead just 1:14 before halftime.
King still had enough clock left to answer. A 60-yard touchdown connection from Lints to AJ Greene and two-point conversion pass to LeVaughn Lewis with 40.2 seconds left gave King a 14-7 intermission edge.
An interception by James Scarlata set the stage for a nine-play, 65-yard scoring march by King. Evan Townsend-Henry bulled 10 yards for the TD with 33.1 seconds left in the third period. Another two-point pass to Lewis put King ahead to stay at 22-14.
Lints completed 15 of 25 passes for 175 yards. King rushed for 191 yards on 34 carries, paced by Lints’ 101 yards on 15 carries.
OWN WORST ENEMY
The Eagles — with a roster of just 31 players — wore down in the 85-degree heat. Leg cramps from dehydration hit both sides hard over the final 24 minutes.
The last of Fieldston’s three interceptions came with 4:43 to play at the Viking 20 by Lints, who also plays secondary on occasion. A fumble and some ill-timed penalties also thwarted the Eagles.
“This is my 13th season with the program and it’s always a good game against King,” Fieldston coach Gus Orenstein said. “Our mistakes and our inability to cash in some opportunities hurt us. Our lack of depth showed up as well. I was proud of our group’s effort. The way they went toe-to-toe with King. They are a really good football team.”
The defense of its 2016 NEPSAC Class C title continues for King on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. when the Vikings host Westminster School of Simsbury. Westminster hosted Canterbury in its season opener Saturday.
“I saw my team’s toughness Saturday. They will do whatever is necessary to win,” Dan Gouin said. “We have to clean up our mistakes (mostly untimely penalties). We stopped ourselves too much. We have to work to keep getting better each week.”
KING 22, FIELDSTON 14
FIELDSTON 0 7 7 0—14
KING 0 14 8 0—22
Records: Fieldston 2-1; King 2-0.
K—Kelly Gouin 9 run (kick failed)
F—Pierce O’Hagan 30 pass from Jesse Cooper-Leary (Alex Thorpe kick)
K—AJ Greene 60 pass from Lints (LeVaughn Lewis pass from Lints)
F—Ben Rosen-Cappellazzo 14 pass from Cooper-Leary (Thorpe kick)
K—Evan Townsend-Henry 10 run (Lewis pass from Lints)